#TalkingThursday – If you don’t talk about Jesus who will?
Dear reader, this week has been traditional so far; so continuing the tradition, this week’s #TalkingThursday is delving into less touchy matters. Today’s topic is much inspired by Ugo Eluchie’s #HolySpiritChallenge (Twitter: @UgoTheGogo). It was insanely refreshing reading the many different ways the Holy Spirit communicates with His children. You can find people’s stories by searching #HolySpiritChallenge on Twitter or Instagram or visiting her blog:
Today, we’re talking about strategies for keeping our hearts open to God’s voice and as always, I found this beautiful piece of work by a christian counselor named Jade Mazarin tited: What Does It Mean to ‘Hear From God’? In it she discusses how to maneuver the task of hearing from God, especially when we’re already asking and not getting anything back?
Many of us seek a formula for how to hear from God. Do this and get that result. But that’s not the way God works. There is a healthy place of seeking God from our hearts, while being open to His leading. Ideally, our seeking should flow from a living relationship with God. It is purposed not to reach certain outcomes, but as a reflection and development of a close communion; a relationship of love.
Scripture says the Holy Spirit helps us when we pray. Our main task, I believe, is to rest in the present moment, seek Him with genuineness, and know that He is working for and through us, each step of the way.
WHOOOOOSH. We can all go home now after that word! Or not. lol
We will explore the art of hearing from God through three points which are different methods that apply to three particular situations people may be in when it comes to hearing from God.
- When you’ve been praying with no response.
- When you’re confused about what God is saying.
- When you need God to come to your aid.
HERE WE GO!
1. Focus; Stop the One-Liners!
We all have those moments when we pray a sentence or two while we’re going through the day. Those are great, because they reflect our belief that God is with us at all times. But often, I find that we don’t always put forth the effort. It’s easier to speak a few pleading sentences than to really sit or kneel, and devote your time—and total mental energy—to only that petition.
I couldn’t agree more, many times in a rush, we often say a one-liner just because we can; “let me just get my daily prayer out of the way” and God is forgiving and does hear those prayers but remember that prayer is like conversation, to get any real response, we must put in the effort. If someone’s trying to chat with you and you keep replying one word responses, eventually the convo becomes boring and the person stops texting you.
If you speak a one-liner to God about a situation you want a paragraph on, then well that’s not really focused is it? If we keep responding with one-liners whenever God speaks, eventually He’ll stop speaking altogether! We need to focus. How many of us like Hannah, can pray to God desperately focused on the one thing we need. When we pray we tend to bombard God with one-liners about several things, rather than making out time to focus and pray for a specific, particular thing. One-liners come from our subconscious, we are barely aware of what we are saying. “yeah okay” “yeah sure I will”, even “God bless you” can be a one liner. We need to really focus on what we say when we petition God, there is power in specific prayers, not in babbling words.
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words”
— Matthew 6:7 (NIV)
A babbling mouth reveals a fragmented mind. As Jade says, sometimes all we need in periods of dryness is to lay aside the things that worry us and give our minds a break to focus and be open to whatever God might have to say.
2. “Lord, Help Me Hear”
God’s messages are often quieter than the audible noise we are accustomed to. They require sensitivity to pick up on. we may not expect Him to speak in a certain way or even through a certain person, so we might not recognize it when He does. The Holy Spirit, however, can help you notice and be receptive to His words—which are always those we need, even if we don’t know it—if we invite Him to do so.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.”
— Isaiah 55:8 (NKJV)
We often jump into prayer without realising that God’s ways are not like ours, therefore He won’t respond like we expect. We keep our eye out expecting God to speak here, but He often finds us elsewhere! The cardinal rule in the art of hearing from God is to ask Him to help you hear, this is why the Holy Spirit is so important, the Holy Spirit brings God’s will to life within us, within our spirits. If we aren’t receptive towards Him, allowing Him to help us notice the methods and ways God uses to speak to us, we will miss it.
3. Praise Till You Get A Raise
Praise is a special route we can take into the presence of God. It connects us with His spirit, allowing us to see beyond our circumstances. Sometimes, we need to take a break from constant petitioning, just start praising and see what happens.
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
— Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)
Have you ever heard of flattery? People call it “Kissing Ass” Yes. We’ve all done it. At our jobs, schools, even in church. We suck up to someone who can help us, we flatter them, we bring them gifts, we compliment them, we do things for them to our own detriment, not just because we are nice christian brothers and sisters but because we’re secretly hoping we will become their favorite and they’ll raise us to a higher station or grant us a particular favor.
God is the Most High Lord, the boss of bosses, teacher of teachers, pastor of pastors. You want to hear from Him? Kiss His Ass, and Praise is the way to do it! Enter into His presence with praise! He loves it. You ring the doorbell or knock before you enter a house, either way you must make a sound and announce yourself. God won’t open up to someone whose sound is mumbling and grumbling! Praise is the sound God loves to hear! Announce yourself in God’s presence with the sound of praise!
Sometimes, the art of hearing from God isn’t prayer, it’s praise. Praise will have God asking you the questions, rather than you asking God. King Solomon gave so many offerings the day God’s temple was opened, the King of Glory had to come down like, “Child, You done knocked the hinges off my door, how may I help you?”
The art of hearing from God takes all the forms mentioned here and much more! The woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair used a unique kind of art to gain Christ’s attention. So tell us via our social media pages → What other forms of art can be used to hear from God? Use the hashtag #AttentionNotCuriosity
***Please be encouraged to read the original article What Does It Mean to ‘Hear From God’? by Jade Mazarin on Relevant Magazine, as she discusses more points that haven't been mentioned here.***